“Mathews made history as the inaugural batsman to experience a timed-out dismissal in international cricket, marking a significant development under the Laws in the 1980 code. Examining previous occurrences in first-class cricket and the peculiar case of Ganguly, who narrowly escaped a timed out due to VVS Laxman’s penchant for leisurely baths.
The MCC’s time-out law, specified under Law 40.1.1, dictates that upon the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must be prepared to receive the ball or for the other batter to be ready within 2 minutes of the dismissal or retirement unless Time has been called. Failure to meet this requirement results in a timed-out dismissal.
The timed-out method of dismissal was introduced to the Laws in the 1980 code and revised to 3 minutes in the 2000 code, yet the playing conditions in this World Cup allot only 2 minutes for the incoming batsman. Interestingly, the earliest printed Laws of cricket in 1775 stipulated that umpires should allow “Two Minutes for each Man to come in when one is out.” Let’s explore some noteworthy instances from first-class cricket.
The Genesis of Timed Out:
Who holds the distinction of being the first batsman to face a timed-out dismissal in first-class cricket?
Andrew Jordan of South Africa received a retrospective timed-out declaration nearly 15 years after the incident. In a domestic match in 1987, Jordan, representing Eastern Province, remained unbeaten overnight against Transvaal in Port Elizabeth. However, he couldn’t make it to the ground the following day due to waterlogged streets caused by heavy rainfall, resulting in a timed-out dismissal. This match had been organized by the South African board for non-white players during the apartheid era. In the early 2000s, it was recognized as a first-class game retroactively after the apartheid policy was abolished, and Jordan’s record was updated to ‘Timed-out.’
Before Jordan’s inclusion in this exclusive list, Hemulal Yadav from Tripura was the first recorded batsman to be dismissed as ‘Timed out’ in 1997.
His reason for the delay is quite relatable to Indians: he was engrossed in a chat just beyond the boundary.
When the ninth wicket fell, Yadav stood just beyond the boundary, and the umpires signaled for a drinks break. Yadav continued conversing with his team manager, their intriguing discussion a mystery to onlookers, as neither Yadav nor the manager showed any signs of breaking away. Curiously, when the Orissa players appealed – incidentally, Debasis Mohanty was in the game – the umpires declared Yadav timed out. One can only assume that the conversation persisted.
The entire scenario was quite remarkable, even more so than Harold Heygate’s presence in Sussex’s playing XI. On the morning of the 1919 game, Sussex found themselves short of a player, with only 10 on the roster. Spotting their former player Heygate, aged 34, they convinced him to step onto the field. Heygate, who had been afflicted with rheumatism due to his service in the trenches during the First World War, hadn’t participated in the game either as a bowler or a batter until that moment.